Lesson #1 – NEVER skip workouts – even when too busy to get to the gym. Even if you have to stop what you’re doing (i.e. directing a musical production – organizing a recital – vocal and piano lessons) and say to whom ever you’re with, “I’m sorry – but I have to get to the gym now – or my body will punish me later and we wouldn’t want that, would we?” I’m sure they will all understand and wait for you. (Yeah right)
Lesson #2 – When you finally DO make it back to the gym – under no circumstances should you compare yourself with other skinny and younger people around you. You are NOT looking at them – so you KNOW they are not looking at you. (Again – yeah right) You should continue on with your weight regime and try to concentrate on your own business – without staring at the other people incredulously that are doing chin ups across from your lame leg curls. They deserve to be stared at incredulously.
Lesson #3 – No matter what – you MUST NOT giggle! It’s offensive to the people around you – AND it draws attention to the fact that you are a wimp – laughing more than doing the actual sit ups. There should be NO joy in the gym – it isn’t allowed. Even the people on the HUGE posters look scary – even when they smile.
Lesson #4 – Try to look like you know how to operate the equipment. Every machine is different with a little thingy that you pull or push to adjust – and the whatchamajiggy for getting the prongy thing into the lowest amount of weight possible. I myself am an expert at working every machine now – but it took careful preparation and patience. And if I can’t get it – I call Greg over. The same holds true for the treadmill. Just look like you know what you’re doing – and you just blend in.
Lesson #4 – Try to join a class. There are many at my gym to choose from. I want to join them all but Greg says I can’t. He is very mean. I have, however joined a Zumba class (with my friend Jackie Christensen) that meets once a week on Friday nights. I used to look ridiculous because I didn’t know any of the moves. Now I still look ridiculous – but at least I’ve been going long enough that I know the moves. At least some of them. Okay – not many of them – but you get the idea. Try to join with a friend or two. My friends are too smart to do this however – and my daughter ended up coming with me. She has many friends coming with her each week – and I’m sure they laugh at me.
Lesson #5 – Don’t let anyone criticize or make fun of your efforts for trying to get into shape – such as my friend Ron Almberg did – by posting a HILARIOUS article on his blog yesterday about a woman trying to get into shape. Is it a coincidence that this woman sounds very much like me? I think not.
And finally – just relax and have fun. If you can’t laugh at yourself before the gym – you will really see the humor in yourself, the people around you and everything in general – AFTER going! Remember – just keep moving!